Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin as Treatments for COVID-19


  • Masashi Ohe JCHO Hokkaido Hospital
  • Ken Furuya
  • Houman Goudarzi


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak that originated in late 2019 and continues to spread as of 2020 is taking a severe toll on human health and has been acknowledged as a worldwide pandemic. There have been no readily available vaccines or drugs that have been approved to combat the disease (COVID-19) as of yet. Chloroquine (CQ), a drug well-known for its effectiveness in treating malarial and autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus, has exhibited a promising inhibitory effect for SARS-CoV-2. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a more tolerable derivative of CQ, has also been shown to display potent activity against SARS-CoV-2. Macrolides (MACs) such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin (AZM) not only have the potential for anti-bacterial activity but also have immunomodulatory effects. Lately, the anti-viral effects of MACs have attracted considerable attention. Very recently, HCQ in combination with AZM treatment was reported to be effective for mild form of COVID-19. Because mild form of COVID-19 may take a turn for the worse, resulting in acute respiratory distress syndrome, or mild COVID-19 patients may infect surrounding people with COVID-19, patients should be treated with HCQ in combination with AZM.




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